Could sanity be breaking out in the Empire State? According to the New York Times
The Cuomo administration is expected to lift what has been, in effect, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technology used to extract natural gas from shale, people briefed on the administration’s discussions said.
Administration officials are discussing maintaining a ban on the process inside New York City’s sprawling upstate watershed, as well as a watershed used by the city of Syracuse, according to people briefed on the plan. But by allowing the process in other parts of the state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would open up New York to one of the fastest-growing — critics would say reckless — areas of the energy industry.
When the decision will be made public is less certain. On Friday, the State Department of Environmental Conservation is due to release a long-awaited study of the process, widely known as hydrofracking. But it was unclear if the Cuomo administration would use the occasion to announce its broader policy plans related to the issue as well. The report will likely include recommendations, and then there will be a period for public comments before a final determination can be made.
Sounds like the best compromise. No one, as Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake famously said, needs the brain damage of fracking in the NYC Watershed, and besides that isn't where the gas is especially likely to be anyway. The gas place to be in New York State is the Southern Tier area abutting Northern Pennsylvanian counties like Bradford that have been at the heart of the shale boom. Those counties are also more likely to be Republican controlled and actually want shale.
Public reaction will be interesting to watch on this one. Don't confuse the Upper West Side of Manhattan with the upper west side of New York State on this: they are 300 miles and planets apart.